You know Italians and their love for food: it is not a surprise at all. So you just landed in Rome and you have ahead of you a weekend in the Italian Capital and you may be wondering about what you should definitely try to eat. Right?
Anytime I go somewhere I try to look in advance for some dishes, secrets about typical food, since the cuisine is one of the key points if you want to get closer to the culture you are going to meet. I try to avoid the tourist places and spots, always looking for some recipes coming straightly from the ancient tradition.
Then it is time to take paper and pen and take a look at this list with 7 typical dishes coming from the ancient tradition.
Ready? It is not only a food trip, but also an historical one.
Getting hungry? You should.
5 typical dishes from Roman traditions
*1 Carciofo alla Romana (Roman style artichoke)
Let us start this delicious trip with a super dish, which is also my favorite one. So far this is probably the best way I enjoyed the real taste of artichokes and I am pretty sure that, even if you do not like them, after trying this one you might change your opinion about it, even just a bit.
But what if I tell you artichoke with plenty of olive oil, chopped garlic, white wine and herbs (origan and mints, in Italian known as mentuccia)? Everything cooked by using a lot of love. The result can be only one: mouth-watering.
Usually it is consumed as a starter or side dish but I love it so much that, many times, it has happened that I ask for two portions and I am done. Smiling and happy.
*2 Trippa alla romana (Roman style Tripe)
Coming from the ancient tradition, Trippa alla Romana is another dish with a long history behind. As you may know, the Roman cuisine is a poor one, and this is a perfect example of it. You know how this dish is made? Its main part is called “quinto quarto” (the fifth fourth), which is a butcher’s term that refers to the humble parts of the animal. From this quinto quarto then it was born one of the most famous Roman dishes. This honeycomb tripe is simmered into tomato, chopped onions, celery, carrots and menta romana (a local variety of mint) and then flavored with pecorino romano. Especially if you are planning to go and visit Rome in winter time this is a warm dish that can be perfect for you.
*3 Rigatoni con la pajata (Rigatoni with lamb intestines)
As you certainly know, Italians do love pasta. And I love it too, since it is very hard to not fall in love with it. In each region of Italy you can find a different recipe and believe me you will always get curious and be surprised about it. Talking about “Rigatoni con la pajata”, this is a classic dish of the Roman cuisine: pajata (which stands for the intestines) is stewed into a super tasty tomato sauce (made with olive oil, garlic, onion, celery and pepper) and served with rigatoni (a type of pasta). It is served with pecorino cheese and fresh parsley, and you will enter the ancient times just by looking at this dish and its history.
*4 Spaghetti alla carbonara
Besides Rigatoni, during your Roman food trip I think you can easily try out another kind of local pasta dish. Then in Rome you cannot avoid to look for a magical dish named “Spaghetti alla carbonara”. Made of simple ingredients, this is probably one of the best expressions of the Roman cuisine. Pasta (it should be spaghetti or another long one type), with guanciale (the cheek of the pork) or pancetta (the Italian bacon), eggs, parmesan or aged pecorino cheese, and flavored with salt, black pepper and the ubiquitous olive oil. Yes, it does not sound bad. I do think it will be my lunch today.
*5 Cicoria ripassata alla Romana (Roman style sautéed chicory)
If you love vegetables then write down on your list this one. Are you wondering what could be so special in just a side dish made of chicory?
This is not only chicory, this is a super dish: basically “cicoria” is boiled for 10 minutes, then drained and “ripassata” (sautéed) into a pan with olive oil, chopped garlic and chili pepper. You can find it in each restaurant or trattoria (tavern). The smell and the taste of this dish is unbelievable: it is too good, you can even feel the smell of history.
I do not consider it as a side dish, I can eat plenty of cicoria and I am super okay with it.
I love it.
Rome and its tasty food is ready to welcome you!